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Healthy Kids 5k (20:01)

On Saturday, I ran the Healthy Kids 5k.  Last year, I ran a 20:13 and placed fourth female overall.  I had a great time last year and enjoyed the race.  My plans changed drastically last weekend, so I found myself with an open weekend and decided to go back and do it again.

I got to the race around 7:30 and it was hot.  Like most 5ks, I like to sign up race day. The temperature read 85 degrees, and I wondered why I was running.  I signed up and warmed up.  When the race started at 8:30 it was 91 degrees.

As with many local 5ks, I found myself boxed in behind young children.  They were weaving in and out, and I nearly tripped over one young female.  As the racers spread out, I found myself as the 6th person.  I hit the first mile in 6:20. It was 5 seconds faster than last week in hotter conditions.  My legs felt tired, and I felt overheated.  In summary, I didn’t feel good.

running 12

During the second mile, I grabbed water and poured it in myself. The wind was blowing off the riverfront, and I felt the wind against my sweat.  It was a combination of sweltering air and a slight breeze. It felt good.  I ran the second mile in 6:32. I was running alone, but it was fine.

I just wanted the last mile to be over. I was alone, and local 5ks don’t have a lot of spectators. I just focused on the end.  I caught one male and rounded a turn.  The third mile went into a nature persevere and a nice view of Wilmington.  There was a slight incline but nothing drastic.  I hit the third mile in 6:24. I was pleasantly surprised because I felt awful.

I crossed the finish line in 20:01.  I thought I had broke 20, but the results said 20:01.  I should have started in front of the kids I suppose. Oh well, it’s just a number and a few seconds don’t mean much.  I did, however, win opera tickets, so that was unique.  Last year I ran a 20:13 send was the fourth woman.  This year I ran a 20:01 and was the first female…you never can predict who will show up.

Running in Sports Bra

The race is 20 seconds faster than last week and on a hotter day, so it’s hard to complain about that.

I’m happy with my race and the improvement since last week.  I have no complaints, and I think in cooler weather I would probably be around 19:30.  I’m continuing to just rich on the bigger picture and finishing races injury free.  I’m not happy or sad about the race, I’m indifferent.  I finished injury free and that is all that matters right now.

Questions for you: 
Have you ever been to the opera? 
What’s the hottest race you’ve run? 

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Donar Dash 5k (20:21)

I’m not sure why this race report was so difficult to write.  As I mentioned in my training log, I’ve had a hard time not comparing myself to running a few months ago.  A few months ago I was effortlessly cranking out workouts and 5ks below 19 minutes.  Then injury hit and now I struggle my way through a local 5k.  It’s hotter weather, and I’ve lost fitness after healing from an injury.  Specific to this race, I spent long days beforehand on my feet.  We had our annual sale at work, and it was the busiest few days of the year.  Why I decided to race a 5k is beyond me…

With that, I arrived around 7:30 on Saturday morning in Wilmington.  Throughout the 30 minute drive, it was sunny, down poured and then just cloudy and muggy.  I signed up for the race and did a short warmup.

I chatted with a few people at the race start. I didn’t recognize anyone, but it happens. I decided to run in a sports bra which is something I rarely do.  It was so hot; I wanted to feel as cool as possible.

The race started, and I found myself as first woman overall.  There were a few men around me.  We went around the stadium and then back into the downtown.  It felt like the first mile was taking forever and I ran it in 6:25. I was a little disappointed since I had run the first mile of my trail five miler in 6:30.  My goal was just to finish healthy, so I don’t know why I cared that much.

During the second mile, I found myself alone. We went along the riverfront and then back around the start and finish. Passing the finish around mile 2 of a 5k is always rough, but I just zoned out and focused on the finish. I ran the second mile in 6:37.

donar dash

The third mile went up a minor hill and back towards the start. I was riding the struggle bus all the way up the hill. My legs felt as though they had no pickup. I passed two men on the downhill who turned around and outkicked me in the homestretch.  I finished the third mile in 6:35 and crossed the finish in 20:21.

Thoughts:
I can’t say I’m particularly proud of this race but it was a good baseline to where my fitness is right now.  When I started running a lot of 5ks last year, I was running anywhere between 20-20:30 too.  I’m hoping I’ll gain my fitness back in less time than it took last year but if I don’t…I don’t.  It’s mentally tough not to compare yourself to previous running goals, times and experiences.  I know I’ll eventually get back there if I train appropriately.  The ultimate goal is to stay healthy.

Questions for you:
Is it hot where you are?
Do you typically know people at local races? 

Delmar Diner

Delmar Diner

Last week I stopped at the Delmar Diner located on the border of the Delaware and Maryland.  I’ve driven by on the way to college and work in Upstate, NY as well now back home to New Jersey.  It’s a diner I’ve passed a lot and have never paid it much attention.  I was getting hungry, so I stopped at a rest stop, googled diners and found this one.

Atmosphere: C
As I said earlier, it’s easy to drive by the Delmar Diner.  The outside blends into the scenery, and most people are focused on the state line 100 feet away.

Delmar Diner

The inside atmosphere is decent but nothing out of the ordinary.  The restaurant itself is clean, however, nothing unusual.  It’s a small restaurant with a small town feel.

Service: A
The waitress brought several refills to my water and coffee.  It was great service, and I have no complaints.  The food was brought out within 15 minutes, and I was in and out within 45 minutes.

Coffee: A
The coffee was a milder roast.  I liked it, and there were plenty or refills.  Any coffee that doesn’t taste like water is a win for me.  Even though there were plenty of refills, I forgot to take a photo.  You can only take so many photos of coffee without it becoming boring…

Food: A
The Delmar Diner has all of the typical diner options.  They have a lot of breakfast staples such as eggs, pancakes and omelets as well as a few different diner staples such as steak and chicken pot pie.  You won’t find healthier options here!

I decided to order the chocolate chip pancakes.  I’m a pancake snob.  I like big filling pancakes versus small dinky ones. The pancakes at the Delmar Diner were light and fluffy.  There were plenty of chocolate chips, and they were cooked all the way through with no uncooked batter.

They added more powdered sugar and chocolate chips on top.  I liked the pancakes a lot and after all of that sugar, I had plenty of energy to drive back to New Jersey.

pancakes1

Cost: $
For my coffee and pancakes, the cost was $8.  For the amount of food and coffee, it is a good value.

Would I come back?
I thought it was a good stop along the way, and I would stop again.

Summary:
Atmosphere: C
Service: A
Coffee: A
Food: A
Cost: $8-13
Overall: A-

Questions for you:
What’s your favorite type of pancake?
Do you like to stop and eat while traveling?

Icicle 10 miler (1:05.33)

Last Sunday, my coworker, husband and I ran the Icicle 10 miler in Wilmington, De.  Last week was a strong training week, and my body was tired.

Even though it was warm, the weather left a lot to be desired.  It was raining and windy.  I raced last year and enjoyed the course, so I knew I wanted to go back this year too.

We arrived with no issues and warmed up two miles.  The race was well put together and started right at 9 am.

The first mile is downhill.  It’s hard to dial in the pace and after the first mile, you realize you probably don’t feel as good as you think.  I was running with a pack of several people and we hit the first mile in 6:19.  I thought to myself: “good time for the bank.”  Since I raced the course before, I knew the first mile was the easiest.

The second and third mile began to climb a few hills.  The hills were small, but I started to feel down.  My goal was to run faster than last year (1:07.36), but I ran each mile in 6:40 and 6:44.  I was drastically slowing down, and I was beginning to feel demotivated.

The fourth mile was almost entirely uphill, and I ran a 6:56.  Despite having a hard training week, I knew I was in better fitness than 2015.  I felt as if I was not going to beat last years time.  I let myself wallow in a pity party for a second and then got over it.

The fifth mile energized me, and I began to feel better.  I started to pick up my pace and finally got out of my pity party.  I hit the halfway point at 33:17.  I thought to myself, great I’m still on track to be faster than last year.

Since it was a loop, I passed several of the leaders who were already coming back.  I saw my husband as well as the first place woman.  I was second women where I stayed the entire race.

During mile 6, many people were cheering from the opposite direction.  An Oiselle athlete cheered “go LOLZ”, I wish I could have you post race.  I ran the sixth mile in 6:36 and began feeling more confident.

The seventh mile wrapped through a park and climbed over a few more hills.  Despite feeling tired, I felt motivated.  Better late than never but I began to feel strong during the race. I started passing several people and focusing on the finish line.

Both mile 8 and 9, I ran alone. They were boring, and there were several people about 20 seconds in front of me, but I was alone. I ran mile 8 in 6:33 and mile 9 in 6:22. I was shocked and motivated when my watch beeped a 6:22 mile for number 9.

I knew the tenth mile was going to be challenging. I remembered it from last year, and I had run by the uphill. The first half was flat and then we turned a corner and up we went. There were many spectators at both the bottom and after we reached the top. With hills, I just tell myself nothing lasts forever. By the time I knew it, we were at the top.

The last quarter of a mile was a sprint to the finish. I ran the last and hardest mile in 6:36 and crossed the finish line in 1:05.33. I was second female overall.

Thoughts:

I was pleasantly surprised with my time! During the middle of the race I had hoped to “just beat” last year, and I ended up negative splitting the race by just over a minute.  Plus it was a challenging course on a difficult day.

It shows me that I ran 6 seconds faster on a harder day, course and untapered versus Broad Street 6 months ago (Cliffs Notes: Broad Street is the fastest ten miler in the country and a straight line course and normally on a beautiful day…2015 it was).

Right now I know I’m in great fitness and I cannot wait to see where Spring half marathons and even Broad Street this year goes.  I think I’m capable of running a 1:03 10 mile race tapered.

Questions for you:
Do you like hilly or flat courses?
How do you taper for big events?

KISS 5k (19:00)

On Sunday, my husband I went down to Delaware to race.  I haven’t run in Delaware since August.  To be honest, I enjoy running there, and I missed it. It’s about 30 minutes from my house, so I don’t mind the drive down there. I like running along the river and downtown area as well.

We got to the race at 8 am.  We warmed up and realized the race started at 9:30, not 9.  I hadn’t paid enough attention.  I was frustrated, but it wasn’t like we were going to leave. We sat in the car for a few more minutes, ran another mile and headed to the start.  We ended up running 4 miles before the start, versus the standard 3.  Despite being frustrated, my legs didn’t feel too bad, so I was excited to race.

The race started promptly at 9:30.  I nearly tripped over several kids at the starting line but was able to move quickly around. During the first mile, I found myself 2nd women overall and 10th person.

Despite racing the day before I did not feel too bad. I was close behind the first place women.  I began to catch her, and we both hit the first mile in 6:02.  Immediately I thought, a few seconds faster than yesterday.  I know it’s not a good idea to compare races and days, but I found myself doing it anyways.

During the second mile, I began catching a few more people.  It was motivating because after Saturday’s race where the wind caused the second mile to be the slowest; I found myself not fading as much.  I was becoming more excited it could be a faster race for me.  I ran the second mile in 6:06.

The third mile ran right by the start and looped into a nature preserve.  The hill wasn’t significant, but it was enough to be painful.  After climbing to the top, we ran by a stadium and to the finish.  I knew my pace was drastically slowing.  My goal became to maintain the pace and be hopefully finish around 19 minutes.  When I looked down at my watch at 2.75, and it read 17 minutes, I knew it would be close.  I powered through and ran the last mile in 6:11.

I crossed the finish line in 19 minutes exactly.  I should have cut tangents better to under 19.

finish line

Thoughts: 

I’m happy with this race.  I ran a strong race, and I was pleasantly surprised to run 19 minutes after running the day before.  I made the goal of anything under 19:45 I would be happy with.   Since I surpassed that goal, I am beginning to realize I am at a different fitness level than I’ve been the last two years.

Questions for you: 

Have you ever messed up a race start time?

When was the last time you surprised yourself? 

Hollywood Diner (Dover, De)

I have been to the Hollywood diner before. When my family and I were driving up to college over eight years ago, we stopped there! I honestly don’t remember many details, but I knew I had been there! This time period was far before I knew how awesome diners were. We decided to stop at the Hollywood Diner because who doesn’t like a trip to Hollywood?

Atmosphere: A

The diner is an old train car. As I’ve said many times before, it’s hard to beat the diner atmosphere of a train car. The restaurant was clean, and the car was adorable. We arrived on Saturday around 11:15. It was crowded but nothing unreasonable. We received a table quickly.

Metallic background for the win

Metallic background for the win

Service: A

The Hollywood diner’s waitress one of the best I’ve ever had. She was polite, friendly and refilled our coffee. Despite being busy, she made sure we were happy. Honestly, she was one of the best waitresses I’ve had at any restaurant!

Coffee: A

The coffee was a local brew to me in New Jersey. Lacas Coffee has become well known in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. In fact, they sponsored the Scott Coffee 8k in Moorestown last May. The coffee was delicious, and the whipped cream was perfect.

Hollywood Diner Coffee

They also gave plenty of creams.  Never enough I guess?

More cream?

More cream?

Food: A

The Hollywood Diner has a smaller menu. While it doesn’t have ten pages of food, there are plenty of options. I ordered one of their specials that included: pancakes, eggs, bacon sausage and unpictured rye toast.  Everything was home cooked and tasted great.  I like soft fatty bacon versus crispy.  The pancakes were light and fluffy as well.  It satisfied my diner craving.

pancakes eggs toast bacon

Cost: $

For both Tim and I’s meal and coffee, the cost was $20. It was an inexpensive stop, and I have no complaints. Honestly 20 dollars is usually the cost of a meal for just me.

Would I come back?

Overall: A

The Hollywood Diner was a smart stop. I am glad we stopped, and we will be back. It’s a cute stop for anyone nearby or traveling.

Cliffs Notes:
Atmosphere: A
Service: A
Coffee: A
Food: A
Overall: A 
Not many diners get all “A”s.

Questions for you:
What is your favorite themed restaurant?
What is your favorite kind of coffee?

United Medical 5k (19:59)

Last weekend I went to Delaware to race another 5k. My plan was to take the race out slower, stay consistent and not positive split. I normally don’t have a “race plan” but last week I did! My last several races have ranged in pace with my first mile about a minute faster than my last mile. My goal for this 5k was to stay consistent and not range from 6-7 minute miles in a 5k.

I arrived to the race at 7:30 and did a longer warm-up than normal. My warm-up is definitely something I’m still trying to figure out. I’m not exactly sure what works best for me in short distances. I also hadn’t slept well the night before so I wasn’t sure how the race would go.

I got to the starting line and by 8:30 and we were off.

There was a man who sprinted out in front of everyone. He was wearing blue jeans and a long sleeve shirt. I assumed he probably wouldn’t be able to keep a 5:30 pace for the entire race in blue jeans but you never know. By the half mile point he started to walk.

During the first mile I found myself as 6th person overall and first women. I stayed with a pack of men the entire race and started to slowly pick them off. My first mile was 6:23. My goal was to run even 6:27 miles (a 20:00 minute 5k).

During the second mile I slowly began picking off some of the men. There aren’t many races I completely zone out but this was one of them. It honestly felt like a 20 minute blur. I passed two men who I have seen at several races.

Around mile 2 we passed the finish line and looped into a nature preserve. Seeing the finish line around mile 2 was rough!  I began to just focus on two men in front of me. I crossed the second mile in 6:27. I hoped I would be able to maintain that pace and not positive split anymore.

During the third mile I focused on finishing strong.  I reminded myself to keep my arms engaged.  I passed the two males I was focusing on around 2.5. After that my only goal was to finish under 20 minutes.

Since I did not take the race out as fast, I didn’t fade! Who knew?

I definitely felt I was finishing much stronger then previous races. It was my fastest third mile of a 5k in a while. The two men I passed ended out kicking me in the last 100 meters. My kick for this race was the best it has been for a while but their kicks were both better! I didn’t let them passing bother me though.

I finished the last mile in 6:22 and the 5k in 19:59 and 1st women overall. I was happy with my efforts because I set out to do exactly what I wanted. I kept my splits consistent and finished my last mile the fastest. My endurance is slowly building but I still don’t feel that my turnover rate is where I want it to be. I know that will come with more speed work. I think adding some sprints will help with that as well.

me 5k

Questions for you:

Do you generally run consistent 5ks or positive/negative split them?

What is your ideal warm-up distance?

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